As Microsoft Raises Price of Xbox LIVE, Will Gamers Get Angry?

Yesterday we heard that Microsoft is going to be raising the price of their Xbox LIVE Gold membership. The change happens on November 1, 2010.

Xbox LIVE Logo

The cost of the service in the US will go up from $7.99 (Marketing talk for $8) per month to $9.99 (Again, marketing talk…$10). That’s an additional two dollars.

Many of us buy cards valued at anywhere from three months to twelve months. The three month card will go up from $19.99 to $24.99 while the year-long subscription will rise from $49.99 to $59.99. That’s a ten dollar increase on the 12-month plan.

As of right now, Microsoft is the only console manufacturer that charges for online play. Recently Sony launched PlayStation Plus, but it’s turned out to be pretty useless. However, online play with the PS3 is still free.

As expected, gamers expressed outrage. It may not seem like a huge deal to increase the price $10 a year, but the costs of DLC and XBLA games are also on the rise. A regular console game retails for $60 new. On top of the internet connection a user must have to pay for their Gold membership Microsoft is really starting to rub gamers the wrong way.

Could a tiered pricing plan perhaps work better? Would users who want to use more advanced features want to pay more? It’s hard to tell right now.

Still, as nice as it would be to see gamers break the middle finger that Microsoft is holding in their face right now by refusing to pay the increased price. It’s not likely that it’s going to happen.

While it may seem like we are making a big stink over nothing, it’s worth considering that by paying the extra cash we are accepting the increased costs of a Gold membership on Xbox LIVE.

With all the negative backlash Microsoft is getting, it would be nice to see a response. Sadly, we doubt that will happen.

Unless Microsoft announces some kind of awesome feature that gives users a reason to pay more (ESPN, really? Kinect video chat? Gee, thanks, Microsoft…), it’s hard to imagine many being thrilled with the new pricing structure. Then again, it’s a good way to sell 12-month subscription plans.

Oh well, at least users will feel more compelled to play on Xbox LIVE to get their $10 a month’s worth. Why not use a nice headset while at it? Though we do wonder how all those new 360 owners feel.

Via: Major Nelson

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